Today I’ll be taking a look at the indie game Healer Simulator. This title was released on Steam in 2018 and was developed and published by one A. Filimonov. Normally I would link to the developer’s website, or the official site for the game, but I haven’t been able to find one.
While the title already tells you a lot of what you need to know about this game, the specific implementation is that you, the healer, and 4 other party members fight various “boss” monsters on the map seen above. You have 8 spells that you can use to try to keep your party alive. Half of them are actually healing abilities, while the other half are utility spells.
For the healing spells, you have a Fast Heal, that heals a relatively small amount quickly; a Slow Heal, that heals a large amount after several seconds of casting time; a Heal Over Time, that heals a party member a tiny amount every second over 15 seconds; and a Mass Heal, that heals the entire party, but can only be used once a minute. With the exception of Mass Heal, you also have to have line of sight with your target. Most healing won’t work if you are behind a tree or too far away.
The utility spells are Shield, which prevents about a Slow Heals worth of damage; Dispel, which removes some negative stat debuffs on a party member; Spell Surge, which increases a targets movement and casting speed; and Power Surge, which increases armor and damage, or healing, power. All of these spells take mana, which is tracked on the large blue bar at the bottom of the screen. Mana regenerates slowly over time, and randomly balls of mana can appear during a fight. If you run through them they will restore a small amount of your mana supply.
There are a few different styles of monsters, but the fights mainly boil down to the same thing. The monsters have abilities that you need to either move out of the way of or heal the party member being struck by them. With the casting times, limited range of spells, and multiple people taking damage you need to prioritize who to heal and with what spells.
After beating a boss, you get a list of rewards from which you can choose one to upgrade a party member’s stats. You then fight another boss, which seems to be randomly selected from the ones in the game. The only other mechanic of note is that for the first few levels, you also get to unlock a Talent. These Talents improve your spells in some fashion, such as reducing the casting time or increasing the buff duration.
The game has relatively simple music and sound, though it fits well into the overall feel of the game. The artwork, as you can see in the screenshots above, is reminiscent of older Super Nintendo styled graphics. The main problem with this game is the user interface.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to select a party member for healing, without it also automatically starting to cast a fast heal targeting them. The lack of any keyboard shortcuts to select the party member really makes this a chore to try to play. The game also seems to sporadically target other party members, which I’m guessing is just buggy design.
The game had one patch after release, adding the ability to remap the default spell buttons. After that, it appears to have been abandoned. Which may not be surprising since the game has only received 8 reviews on Steam, all of which were negative. Apparently the main complaint was that this originally got tagged as Free To Play, which it is not, though this has since been corrected.
Buggy targeting is not the only issue I’ve encounter while playing the game. I have also gotten stuck when my character died at the same time as the boss. It counted the fight as a win, but then I couldn’t move the character around on the map.
Overall, I would give Healer Simulator a “D”, or 3/10 stars. It really just needed a little more work to be an interesting little diversion, instead of an annoying experience. The concept is solid, but it looks like it was never carried through to be well realized. If you still want to check out the game, you can find it on Steam here.